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Adult Maltreatment Risk Factors: Adding Community-Level Factors to an Individual-Level Field.

Authors
  • Fettig, Nicole1
  • Mitchell, Hilary1
  • Gassoumis, Zach2
  • Nizam, Zainab1
  • Whittier Eliason, Stephanie3
  • Cory, Scott3
  • 1 WRMA, Inc., a TriMetrix Company, Arlington, VA, USA.
  • 2 University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA.
  • 3 Administration for Community Living, Washington, DC, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Trauma Violence & Abuse
Publisher
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
Volume
25
Issue
1
Pages
5–21
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1177/15248380221137659
PMID: 36636944
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Adult maltreatment is a pervasive problem in the United States and has serious individual and societal consequences. Adult protective services (APS) agencies are the social services programs responsible for serving older adults and adults with disabilities who may be experiencing adult maltreatment. The adult maltreatment literature differentiates elder maltreatment from the maltreatment of adults with disabilities, yet APS agencies serve both groups. Understanding the etiology of adult maltreatment as well as the associated risk and protective factors is crucial for APS workers, clinical practitioners, researchers, and policymakers. To advance the evidence in this area, we undertook a scoping review to examine recent evidence on risk and protective factors associated with adult maltreatment. Searches of nine electronic databases were conducted in 2020 to identify studies published in peer-reviewed journals since 2010. A total of 29 studies were included in the final review. The findings identified several categories of risk factors associated with the individual: demographic traits, socioeconomic characteristics, physical and mental health, interpersonal issues, and historical events. Several studies identified caregiver and alleged perpetrator risk factors. However, the current body of research lacks community and contextual risk and protective factors. Therefore, we present several potential data sources that may be leveraged to examine the links between social-contextual characteristics and adult maltreatment. These data may be combined with APS data to advance the field's understanding of risk and protective factors through advanced analytic techniques.

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